Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Bright White Cave of Possibilities.

Today I did some spelunking in the bright white cave (ironic allusion to Plato intended) of web tools, and it really is astounding how many ways there are to endeavor. The tools available and their applications range from business, to personal, to networking, to social, to life management, to collaboration, to shortcuts, and so on. There are so many applications and tools that help you do the same kinds of things. It really is a pick and choose environment. You can decide what would benefit you and suddenly you can use it…
Since I enjoy writing, I thought that I would check out Whiteboard. Whiteboard, like Google Docs, allows a person to work on documents, share them, co edit, group edit, whatever to their hearts content. I thought that the interface was easy to use and that the options were excellent. You can name any single document; you can assign any single document a password so that it can only be accessed by those who have that password which would be useful in large businesses where not every memo is all eyes material. In the write and then drag to delete world of Word, it is easy to eradicate previous drafts, but when one wants access to them they are typically gone. The history of the process of creation is gone.

For example, I was working on a poem and there were several versions of it as I couldn’t decide which I liked best. I had to keep copying and pasting into new documents every time I changed something for fear that I would like the old way better, but not remember what it had been. With White board you can save these drafts and create new ones with relative ease. Text Expander, a tool which allows you to type in a code and get a predetermined selection of text instantly is an interesting idea. I would be afraid that with the rest of the codes I have to remember that I would forget the code for making my “whatever I wanted to type and type often” appear. Then I would end up typing it anyway.  Write is another interesting tool that allows for tracking the progress of several people’s writing. This could be useful in a newspaper or other kind of writing +deadline+ editor setting. Technorati, a blog searching tool, was an interesting tool. I am constantly having issues finding blogs that are exactly what I started out looking for. 

GOOGLE SITES IS FANTASTIC! I am involved in a club on campus, and I can think of so many great uses for this tool. I wanted to create a library catalog/database for the club’s library, but I wasn’t sure how to make it something that the members would use. Now that I found Google sites I can imagine a really great library homepage linked to from the club’s current pages. Google makes it very easy to get everything you need into your site, including great design tools like templates for different types of pages.
Google’s translation tool is also immensely helpful. I have been able to use it to translate articles for my research.  This tool is very simple to use and gives a great side by side display that allows you to see the two versions side by side, line to line.
Google Books Search is nice tool for trying to find information within a larger book. For example: On my Pathfinder assignment for LIS 518 I was able to read encyclopedia articles about my subject from whole books without having to scroll forever.
Google Calendar was easy to use. I like how you are able to edit your events, including built in alerts and reminders. It has some nice sharing options; however make public is scary with its “this will make your life available to a Google search”. With that being said, Here is the link to my week.....


  1. Thank you for the info on Whiteboard - I wasn't familiar with that program. The saving drafts feature seems interesting, especially for authors of literary works. The Word tracking changes feature offers a way to see what was there before, but would not be as easy to re-read for comparison of versions (plus I'm not sure how many changes it keeps track of).

    When I clicked on your calendar link it brought up my calendar, probably because I'm logged into my account right now. You're brave - I'm not willing to make my "life" available to the internet world just yet.

  2. I figured that one week (with all the information blacked out) wouldn't kill me. That is if anyone can even see it.